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May the Forks Be With You: Inside Disneyland’s Star Wars-Inspired Food

One of the biggest thrills of Season of the Force at Disneyland is the new food being introduced. There are a whole bunch of nifty items – there’s the salad at Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port that seems to have been farmed from a Naboo forest, and a chocolate éclair that’s shaped like Star Wars: The Phantom Menace baddie Darth Maul (it’s filled with a spicy chocolate crème). As Karlos Siqueiros, who works in Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Food & Beverage Concept Development, said: “It’s not just Star Wars-themed food. It’s food from the world of Star Wars.”

 

On a special preview night for Season of the Force, we were able to chat with Christopher Maggetti, Chef de Cuisine Concept Development, and Scott Mancino, Tomorrowland Chef de Cuisine, about what it took to create the inspired culinary offerings for this special seasonal Star Wars-themed overlay. (Here’s more about everything Season of the Force has to offer, including a newly embellished Star Tours.)

Star Wars Food Collage

“About 11 months ago, we were approached by the team working on Season of the Force,” Maggetti told us. “They wanted to incorporate food and beverage offerings to tell the story of Star Wars. We wanted to tap into the idea of the guests making a choice – they can either choose the Dark Side or the Light in our menus. That was the inspiration. Between Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port and Galactic Grill, they can choose from a number of items.” And this choice is pretty fun. If you go to the Galactic Grill for lunch or dinner, you can choose the First Order Specialty Burger (a deliciously spicy beef patty with chorizo, crispy cherry peppers, spicy-lime aioli on a dark bun) or, if you’re feeling less villainous, the Jedi Order Chicken Sandwich (featuring a five-spice chicken breast, crispy green beans, pickled red onions, Watercress, and wasabi mayo). This idea of choice extends all the way to your beverage options: you can grab a Dark Side drink (made with all-natural Odwalla Lemonade and strawberry with an adorable light-up Death Star) or one that celebrates the Light Side (the same lemonade but with Granny Smith apple, yogurt meteors and a light-up Millennium Falcon). Picking out lunch has never been this fun.

 

They knew they had to have certain items on the menu that played off of things in the Star Wars films, like the blue milk that Luke Skywalker famously drank in the first movie. “We knew we had to have the blue milk,” Mancino said. “We needed to incorporate that and help tell that story. So what we did was tested, with an artisan bakery, the Bantha blue milk bread. We had three doughs and they intertwined it and baked it off. When you slice into it, no two are the same.” You can try this swirly bread at breakfast at Galactic Grill in the Bantha Blue Milk Bread French toast or in the kids’ meal at lunch in the Jawa Turkey Sand-wich.

 

But building such an ambitious menu is not without its challenges, especially when, as Maggetti told us, the two restaurants that are being overtaken with the Force are also “two of the most popular restaurants on the property.” As Mancino told us, “We started building the menu at a secret facility. But in the operations, we didn’t know how we’d handle two buns and two patties and keep the velocity going and the quality high.” The key, they said, was repeatedly testing the new menus while refining and optimizing their productivity. A huge test came in October, when they fed everyone who had gathered for the annual Halloween party at Walt Disney Imagineering. (This, it should be noted, was when we first tried the delicious First Order burger.) It was there that they fed “1,600 people” in one go. They were ready for primetime.

 

Collaboration with Lucasfilm was also key, they said, with the company offering helpful suggestions like adding orange food coloring to the BB-8 droid crisped rice treat. And the fun of food at Season of the Force extends beyond what you eat. As Mancino explained: “There are three different groups: novelties, then there’s the culinary piece, and then we have the beverages.” The novelties include, among many very awesome things, a sipper that looks like BB-8, which you can get from Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port, and a popcorn bucket in the shame of a First Order TIE Fighter (fun trivia: it’s the biggest popcorn bucket that has ever been deployed in the Parks). So you can extend the excitement and fun of Season of the Force beyond your time at Disneyland. By taking home a piece of stylish memorabilia, it can stay with you forever.

Posted 6 years Ago
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